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Scarification and/or branding? Experiences?
Topic Rating: +3 (3 votes) 
September 16, 2011
9:23 pm
DutchessOfNill
Wenatchee, WA
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I'm in the process of choosing my first scarification piece, but I'm not sure if I should choose to go the branding or cutting route.  Can anyone please share with me their opinions of both cutting and branding (pro's and con's) and your experience while obtaining the piece and during the healing period.

September 17, 2011
6:42 am
Oakbear
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It really depends on what sort of design and effect you are after. Do you have ideas about design, placement, size, and what you'd like to to look like healed?

Branding tends to be less precise, in that it spreads, but can raise better.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 21, 2011
1:07 pm
apathos
St. Louis, Mo
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I've always gotten cuttings because it can make more fine detail as the scar is alot less likely to spread out from the cut whereas with a burn the burn spreads under the skin and it's more chaotic to control.  To me the ritual of doing the aftercare is what I like about scars.  What are you wanting to get?

September 24, 2012
12:25 pm
Sommersett
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I have about 100 inches of brands on my body and a few cuttings.  Yes, brands do spread and the rule of thumb is 3 times the width of whatever the thickness of the metal you are using is.  I only have experience with "drag method" and "strike method" which are considered pretty rustic and old school.  I do want some ECU work and it is totally on my list of mods to get!! 

None of my brands are raised.  I do heal fast and well. 

I personally like branding better than cutting because the "grain of skin" is not an issue with branding like it is in cutting.  Branding does not bleed, so it you want to bleed then cutting is the way to go.  If you are going for a pattern or shape, the skin will heal differently in the different directions you cut.  As I understand it, this is normal and happens to everyone.  Cuts can also be messy to heal.  Brands scab immediately.

Which brings me to the reason for my post here.  I was reading a thread several days ago and I don't remember what the title was (it was old) and I noticed that SasQuatch9585 said something about brands being "open" and difficult to heal.  THIS IS NOT MY EXPERIENCE.  Burning the skin makes it cauterize which is sealing it off and eliminating the risk of germs or bacteria entering. 

Did you get a scarification piece yet? 

Anybody have experience with this?

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
September 25, 2012
3:24 am
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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I have a large scarification piece on my thigh, and I love it! It's not really raised that well, but the detail stayed.

Healing was difficult but if you kept with the cleaning routine, there's no way to mess up.

September 25, 2012
9:19 am
Oakbear
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I think in terms of healing branding the infection risk is fairly low due to scabbing, although bear in mind it can crack and leave an open wound.

I wonder what SasQuatch was referring to is healing a branding using agitation during after care. This essentially keeps it open and encourages the tissue to granulate and thus produce a raised scar. This of course means there is some risk as you have an open wound, and it needs managing carefully.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 25, 2012
10:12 am
Sommersett
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I have heard of that and I tried to intentionally irritate the one across my chest.  It is not raised, but very prominent and I think that may be why.

 

I have also heard of pushing ash or henna into the wound. 

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
September 25, 2012
2:00 pm
piercerguy
Canada
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As one who does both Branding and Cutting, I can say that really depending on design and placement would dictate to which method would be best. ECU Branding can allow for a little more "finer" detail, but again, with the spread factor, you can't allow for much fine detail. As long as you are following the aftercare given to you, your scar should turn out just fine. Keep in mind though that that everyone does scar differently, so you may or may not get raised scars and the end result may not necessarily turn out as you envisioned. Personally, I find whether being Branded or Cut, it is more about the experience of it, rather than the actual end result. As to rubbing ashes or henna into it, (again, this is a personal note), I feel that even though it may give a bit more definition to the area, the risk of an infection by rubbing foreign matter into what is essentially an open wound isn't worth the slight definition that it would give.

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September 25, 2012
4:19 pm
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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When I got my cutting, I irritated it and left it open for 10 days. This was done by washing four times a day, and following the washing with irritation with a sugar scrub and a toothbrush, washing again, then putting on petroleum jelly and wrapping with plastic wrap. That kept it covered and clean.

It worked out for me. It's still a beautiful red color, though not as raised as I would have liked, but hey, that's the way I scar apparently.

October 6, 2012
5:03 pm
SasQuatch9585
USA
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I didn't use irritation during healing and so the TCU brand on my forearm didn't really spread at all.  The scar is just as wide as the original trench was.  Although there was a small amount of stretching in the area, this was minor and didn't really effect the healing process.

The moxibustion brand across my upper chest has spread a bit, but that's because of the location.  The nine strikes make a chevron shape from shoulder to shoulder just below my collar bones.  The strikes on the shoulders and in the center are still essentially round, but those between have stretched to an oval shape because of the natural stretching of the skin in that location when I move my shoulders back.  This stretching occurred during the healing process.  The scabs would crack open and some of the unburned flesh would tear a bit to allow for the motion of my shoulders.

In both cases I chose to keep the wounds open by removing the scabs.  The way I did it was to remove them with Qtips after they had become soft and gooey in a warm shower.  I found that allowing the scars to exist was trapping puss in the wound and I didn't want to allow that to happen for fear of infection.  So, every other day the scabs would build up enough that they could be removed gently and without much discomfort.

I found that keeping them open and cleaning them several times a day prevented infection and allowed the wounds to heal more quickly than my artist had predicted.  The wounds looked clean and fresh throughout the healing process, but irritation around them was minimal and I was much more comfortable knowing that they were clean as opposed to wondering what was happening under the scabs, having only a few puss-leaking clues.

The TCU on my forearm isn't raised in the least.  It is undetectable by touch.  Six of the nine moxibustion strikes are a bit raised, but nothing more.  The moxibustion strikes were raised greatly during healing, but now that they are about five years old they've settled down almost entirely.

I knew a woman once who had circles done on the back of her shoulders with an ECU.  She used irritation with a toothbrush and her circles did spread quite a lot.  Though I've never known anyone who received a cutting, I've seen pictures that seem to show a much more precise scar.  So, as others have already said, if you're looking for a more detailed design I'd go with cutting.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best experience and no infections.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
October 9, 2012
2:14 pm
Sommersett
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Does anyone know about or have any personal experience with the picking or hooking technique?  Maybe there is another name for it but I'm not sure.  The method by which the skin heals like a little bubble or raised spot.  I think it is done by cutting and then using what looks like a knitting needle to hook and pull part of the layers of skin out. 

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
October 10, 2012
2:08 am
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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I don't have any personal experience with it, but I know some cultures in Africa practice the picking technique, which is really just cutting the skin in a "C" shape by, essentially, by picking up the skin and cutting it with a blade. As far as my research goes, that's all it takes, a pick, and the right skin.

November 12, 2012
7:58 pm
Charley
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
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I just received my first scarification.Laugh I had skin removal done on my back, side, and stomach. I am excited to see the outcome. Has anyone had this type of scarification and knows how it will look??

November 13, 2012
7:03 am
Oakbear
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Hi Charley welcome to the forum.

I don't mean offence, but surely it might have made sense to have an idea of what your scarification will look like before having it done?!

Anyway, the outcomes vary by technique as well as placement, aftercare and individual healing factors . If you post pics it might help.

I'd also encourage you to discuss this with your artist asap, as aftercare can influence this quite a bit, so you need to be sure you're looking after it appropriately for the outcome you are hoping for.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
November 14, 2012
5:34 pm
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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A lot of the outcome has to do with your aftercare and skin. Everyone is different, so many times the result isn't the same as you see online a lot.

November 19, 2012
10:30 am
SasQuatch9585
USA
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Welcome to the forum Charley. Just checked out the picture you posted on FB. That's a cool design and I think it's gonna look great when it's healed.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
November 20, 2012
3:41 am
Oakbear
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Ah i didn't think to check fopr a Fb account!

Anyway that looks very cool, and seems to be healing well. What aftercare are you using?

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
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